Saturday, April 7, 2012

Review: The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Running Dream
 Title: The Running Dream
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Date: January 11th 2011
Pages: 332
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction, Inspirational
Series: Lunar Chronicles
Source: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary: 

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?

As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People, who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.

With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.


I am going to start off this review with this one word WOW!!!!!!!

I don’t think I can even give a review worthy of this book. I am not one who generally picks up realistic fiction, but this book was being showcased at my local library and I picked it up. The book had me wrapped emotionally from the first chapter.

This story ran multiple feelings through me as I read and contemplated the life of Jessica. I couldn’t even begin to name all the emotions that my heartfelt with every word of this book. Jessica is an amazing character. At the beginning she is your typical teenager and lives a typical teenager life. She goes to school, hangs out with her friends, and runs on the school track team. One day, after a track meet, an accident changes everything.

This story basically had four parts for me… recovery, reality, adaptation, and overcoming.

The story starts off with Jessica waking up after her leg has been amputated. The first thing that ran through my mind was the emotional stand point of losing a leg. I never once gave though to how physically painful this would be. The first part of the book was about Jessica adapting to the idea of losing a leg while she was recovering in the hospital. The author does a wonderful job living the emotional and painful moments of Jessica’s recovery from the surgery.

The second part of the book deals with Jessica going home and the reality of her new life. Jessica refuses to go to school and to leave the house. The reality sets in that she can no longer do what she once could and this leaves her to believe she cannot be who she once was. She really doesn’t know who she is now that she is no longer a runner.

The next part of the book deals with Jessica adapting. She has to learn to do everything differently and adapt to her new reality. Jessica has amazing friends and family. This was a real inspiration to me. Jessica’s friends never look at her different and track team, friends and her family pull together to make sure Jessica will run again. Jessica learns to adapt to a life of prosthetic leg and adapt to being the center of positive attention.

The final part is the overcoming. With the overcoming, comes the inspiration. Jessica doesn’t stop with learning to walk or run again but she overcomes every obstacle she can to make someone else’s dream come true.

This book gave m the chills, kept me in tears, and opened my heart to a new world. I cannot recommend this book enough. I think everyone should read it, and it made me want to go out and run. This book is all good and no bad. It’s a wonderful, tear jerking, inspirational story that I will read over and over again,


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